China’s Jilin Jien Nickel Industry
Co. has signed a cooperation agreement
with China Railway Resources Co. to
assist in developing a graphite mining project in Luobei, in
Heilongjiang province in northeast China.
According to an announcement on 7 December, Jien Nickel
plans to purchase partial or total stock rights in China
business, Yunshan Graphite Co., with
total value of Chinese renminbi (Rmb) 300m ($46.6m*). Once Jien
Nickel has acquired the stock rights, China Railway will assist
Yunshan Graphite to obtain a mining certificate and approval
for its mining, processing and further processing projects and
to complete related environmental assessments.
In order to secure the support of the local Luobei
government, Jien Nickel has agreed to invest a minimum of Rmb
2bn ($310.7m) in Yunshan Graphite and its new project, with
phase one funding totalling not less than Rmb 600m
Jien Nickel is a listed company in Jilin province and is
based close to the Luobei graphite mines. China Railway is a
state-owned company and the biggest construction company in
Asia. Their cooperation with Yushan Graphite is expected to aid
the consolidation and development of further graphite
processing capacity in Luobei.
UK AIM-listed StratMin Global Resources
Plc has achieved "operational level breakeven" at
the company’s Loharano graphite mine in
StratMin is currently operating its plant 24 hours a day and
is progressing towards 6,000 tpa production capability. The
company said it sold 478 tonnes graphite from the period
September to November 2015, for total revenues of
The company has an investment arrangement with ASX-listed
Bass Metals Ltd via its subsidiary, Graphmada Mauritius and
last week StratMin said it has received £277,885 from
Bass to date.
Bass has committed to fully funding the first investment
tranche of £500,000 by 31 December 2015 and a second
tranche of £1.5m by 31 March 2016. Completion of the
first tranche delivers Bass a 6.25% interest in Graphmada
Mauritius, with completion of the second tranche taking this
interest to 25%.
Cabo Delgado province in northern
Mozambique is estimated to contain around 1bn tonnes graphite,
according to information released during the First
International Conference on Value Chains of the Gas, Graphite
and Agrarian Industries in the port city of Pemba earlier this
A report on the meeting published by Mozambican daily
newspaper, Noticias, said that conference
speakers drew attention to the need for Mozambique to improve
the reliability of electricity supply to graphite developers in
In Cabo Delgado, graphite occurs in the districts of Balama
and Ancuabe, with a number of companies including
Ltd and Triton Minerals
Ltd, Germany’s AMG GK
Graphit Kropfmuehl and unlisted Frontier
Minerals, exploring deposits in these areas.
In Canada, Zenyatta Ventures
Ltd and its partner Ballard Power Systems Inc.
have issued a progress report on their efforts to utilise
graphite from Zenyatta’s Albany graphite project
in Ontario in the assembly of membranes for electrodes used in
The membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is a critical
component of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuels cell and must
meet exacting performance standards for the fuel cell to
perform properly, Zenyatta explained.
Ballard recently prototyped gas diffusion layers (GDLs),
which form part of the MEA, using both Albany graphite samples
and benchmark (synthetic) graphite material, which is currently
the main material used in this application. Both GDLs were
constructed using Ballard's proprietary process and, to date,
all the properties of the GDL sample made with Zenyatta
graphite were essentially identical to those of the benchmark
GDL in all the functional tests that have been completed,
The GDL samples made by Ballard will now be tested in a fuel
cell stack to characterise baseline fuel cell performance and
further assess the viability of Albany graphite in realistic
Canada Strategic Metals Inc.
and Lomiko Metals Inc. have confirmed
near surface, high grade flake graphite results from samples
taken during the companies’ last series of infill
drilling on the main zone of their jointly held La Loutre
property in Quebec.
Notable results included a 21.5 metre intersection grading
at 11.56% C, 57.95 metres at 3.36% C, including 6.1 metres at
13.66% C and 28.75 metres at 4.44% C.
The La Loutre property consists of contiguous claim blocks
totalling approximately 2,867.3 ha (28.67km2).
TSX-V-listed Saint Jean Carbon Inc.
has signed a commercial contract for the design and development
of advanced graphene material.
Saint Jean’s graphene, which is made from
natural graphite extracted from the company’s
graphite properties in Canada and Sri Lanka, will be added to a
resin type material by the deal partner, the name of which was
The contract, which runs until the end of February 2016,
will generate the first revenue for Saint Jean and entails
design and engineering work as well as full-scale prototypes
for in-product testing. The company believes this is the first
of up to 15 contracts it has in the pipeline for its
Nouveau Monde Mining Enterprises Inc.
has reported complete drilling results for the
southeast and southwest zones as well as partial results for
the west zone at its Matawinie graphite property in the
Saint-Michel-des-Saints area of Quebec.
The results indicated grades of up to 4.65% C over
intersections of up to 156.5 metres.
The exploration programme involved extensive trenching and
drilling totalling over 10,000 metres and was initiated in June
on Matawinie’s Tony claim block. The objective of
the work is to define before year-end an NI 43-101 mineral
resource estimate for the property’s southeast and
An estimate for the west zone is scheduled for Q1 2016. A
preliminary economic assessment of these three mineralised
zones is expected during the first half of 2016.
In Sri Lanka, Elcora Resources Corp.
has progressed to advanced underground drilling work to define
12 historically worked veins at depth and to find additional
veins at the past-producing Ragedara vein graphite mine.
Historical peak production from these 12 veins was 18,000 tpa
before the mine was abandoned, according to Elcora.
Drilling at two locations discovered three veins ranging
between 15cm and 24cm in width within 10 metres of
Ragedara’s old workings. An additional
drilling location is currently being exploited at a 38 metre
depth to pass under the historical working of the mine. This
has already resulted in locating five veins with widths of
66cm, 40cm, 20cm, 20cm and 15cm.
Additional holes are being drilled in order to further
define these veins and the current shaft is being deepened in
order to provide access for future work.
In Australia, Brisbane-based Sayona Mining
Ltd has intersected broad zones of graphite
mineralisation at the Corkwood zone of its East Kimberley
project in Western Australia.
A total of 17 holes covering 1,668 metres were been drilled
with each hole intersecting visual graphite mineralisation.
Sayona said that intercepts of up to 58 metres downhole widths
have been logged, with multiple zones of mineralisation present
in some prospect areas.
Following the confirmation of graphite mineralisation from the
initial drilling, the company has mobilised a second drilling
rig to accelerate completion of the programme and is aiming to
drill a total 2,500-3,500 metres, weather
Samples from the drill holes are being dispatched for analysis
and the first results are anticipated in January 2016.
In financing news, TSX-V-listed Eagle Graphite
Inc. has completed the non-brokered private placement
for aggregate gross proceeds of Canadian dollar (C$) $245,000
($180,000). Pursuant to the placement, Eagle issued 1,000,000
flow-through common shares at a price of C$0.06/share and
3,700,000 units at a price of $0.05/unit.
The net proceeds from the placement will be used to fund
exploration work and for general and administrative
Triton Minerals has extended the
closing date and revised payment arrangements of a recently
launched entitlements offer, aimed at funding the development
of the company’s graphite properties in
The closing date for the arrangements will now be 14 January
2016 and the payment date will be 31 January 2016.
Last week, Triton parted company with its CEO, Brad Boyle.
Garth Higgo has been appointed as the new CEO and will be
responsible for the management of the company, along with
Triton's technical director, Alfred Gillman.
In graphene news, a new partnership between the
UK’s University of
Manchester and the Beijing Institute
of Aeronautical Materials (BIAM), a leading
Chinese aviation company, aims to develop lighter, stronger and
possibly conductive graphene-enhanced parts for aeroplanes,
high speed trains and other industrial equipment.
The partnership seeks to promote R&D into graphene
reinforced aluminium matrix composites areas and speed up the
application of graphene in the aviation industry and other
Finally, US-based Graphene 3D Lab Inc.
has arranged a non-brokered private placement of up to 3.4m
units priced at C$0.25 each to raise up to C$850,000 in gross
The cash will be used primarily to expand the
company’s business and for general working capital
*Conversions made December 2015